23 October, 2020

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Covid-19, 20th Amendment, And The Shadow Of Chinese Dominion 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph and self-abasement…. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.” ~ Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-fours)

On October 7th, Sri Lanka officially informed the United Nations that the government of Gotabaya Rajapaksas has successfully contained Covid-19.

On October 7th, 519 Covid-19 patients were identified in Sri Lanka.

The new Brandix cluster became revealed on October 4th. On October 5th, Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara, Director MRI, told Derana, “From January to now this virus has been present in the community somehow… How else could we have found a patient now?” (Economy Next – 5.10.2020). He was immediately demoted to the post of Deputy Director. 75 new patients were identified on that day, and 262 new patients the next day. 

By October 7th, parts of Gamhapa district were under a police curfew and the government had re-launched the Humanitarian Operation against Covid-19. The army was conducting military style operations, rounding up Brandix workers and their contacts (mostly women, some pregnant mothers or mothers with children), as if they were the new terrorists. 

Given the reality of a virulent new cluster of unknown provenance, the government should have dropped the reference to successfully curbing Covid-19 from its statement to UN Third Committee. It had time to do so, but didn’t. Instead, the Gotabaya-Mahinda regime knowingly lied to the UN about an issue of national and global importance.  

The incident is emblematic of how the Rajapaksas rule. They excel at bending the reality to suit their needs. The Siblings have been dealing with ‘Alternative Facts’ long before Trump-enabler Kellyanne Conway coined the phrase. Alternative facts occupied centre stage during the Final Eelam War. The myth of Zero-civilian Casualties was maintained by turning every war-dead, from the aged to babies, into Tigers. In that war, only Tigers could die. If you were killed, you became a Tiger by definition – unless you were killed by the Tigers (and the Tigers did kill plenty of Tamils). 

An eerily similar approach was adopted towards the pandemic, almost from the beginning. The virus became the new Tiger. Most infected people (especially the minorities and the Sinhala poor) were regarded not as victims deserving of kindness and compassion, but as carriers, a kind of health-terrorist. They were degraded and condemned. 

Since winning the war against the virus was a politico-electoral imperative, the Rajapaksas created the myth of Zero-Community Transmission. Beating Covid-19 became a major theme in the SLPP’s parliamentary election campaign. Testing remained low and no mass scale random community testing was conducted. 

According to the WHO, “Community transmission is evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through trains of transmission for a large number of cases…”. Going by this definition, the Minuwangoda/Brandix cluster is clear proof of community transmission as its origin is yet to be discovered. But the government continues to insist on the Zero-Community Transmission myth. Medical officials go along, probably fearing the fate of Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara. 

So ‘Alternative Facts’ pervade. There is no community transmission, and no need to impose travel and other restrictions in an orderly manner. Certainly not until the 20th Amendment is through. For the sake of the 20th Amendment, the Rajapaksas are placing the health of the nation in peril. 

Saved by China?

The Rajapaksas keep things in the family. No surprise, therefore, in PM Mahinda Rajapaksa appointing his second son as his chief of staff.

The appointment might have been commonplace. But the manner in which it came to light was staggeringly novel – via the official twitter account of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka: “On 13th October, Charge de Affaires Hu Wei congratulated Yoshitha Rajapaksa @YoshithaR for assuming office as new Chief of Staff to Hon Prime Minister.” 

Obviously, one of the first official duties of the new Chief of Staff was to pay obeisance to the country’s paymasters. 

On September 28th Moody’s downgraded Sri Lanka’s sovereign credit rating by two notches, from B2 (high credit risk) to Caa1 (very high credit risk). On October 8th a high level Chinese delegation arrived in Sri Lanka, and was allowed into the country without even PCR testing (let alone quarantining). 

On October 11th, China announced it was bestowing $90 million grant on Sri Lanka. 

On October 13th, the Lankan cabinet approved the awarding of a $20.96 million contract to a Chinese joint venture to construct a waste water treatment plant in Wellawatte. 

During his meeting with the Chinese delegation, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested help in reducing Lanka’s massive trade deficit with China ($3.8 billion in 2019). In response, the Chinese seemed to have placed the old idea of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on the agenda. 

Perhaps someone should inform the President that a FTA with China in this juncture is likely to increase our trade deficit to stratospheric levels. Given our dependent status, any free trade pact will be written in Beijing and confer most comparative advantages on China. 

Perhaps someone should tell the President about the fate of our other all-weather-friend, Pakistan, a key beneficiary of the kind of Chinese munificence he hankers after.

The FTA between China and Pakistan was signed in November 2006 and came into effect in July 2007. By 2018 China accounted for around 46% of Pakistan’s trade deficit. By 2020, Pakistan’s exports to China amounted to only 20% of its imports from China – exports to China $2 billion, imports from China to $10 billion; trade deficit $8 billion. 

Free trade agreements can be mutually beneficial when they involve markets which are supporting and complementary, meaning each participant exports goods the other/s don’t or can’t produce. The 2020 FTA between Vietnam and EU is said to be an example of such compatibility.  

Much depends on how a trade deal is approached, negotiated and structured. For example, in 2019, Pakistan renegotiated the FTA with China, correcting some of the more deleterious provisions in the original deal. “All sensitive sectors have been protected and are not subject to duty reduction… The government also Strengthened Safeguard Mechanism to protect domestic products against surge in Chinese products” (The Nation – 16.8.2019). 

China had been pushing Colombo for a FTA since before 2015. The deal would have been signed had Mahinda Rajapaksa won his third presidential term. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration actually negotiated, instead of just signing on the dotted line. One of the sticking points was the Lankan side’s demand for a review of the deal after 10 years. The Chinese refused. Incidentally, the credit for this prudence probably belongs to Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mangala Samaraweera. 

These are different times. With Sri Lanka caught in an unprecedented fiscal noose, created in part by President Gotabaya’s imprudent tax cuts, our chances of negotiating on a deal are nil. The Rajapaksas have anyway decided to become a satellite of China, a decision that is likely to become further cemented if Biden-Harris ticket is victorious at American Presidential election, as is likely. 

Given this economic and political dependence, any FTA will be highly skewed in China’s favour. It is instructive in this regard that Sri Lanka’s new ambassador to China, Palitha Kohona, was, until recently, the head of the Lankan chapter of a Chinese company, Hairong Investments Group. In any negotiation, whose interests will our own ambassador actually represent?

Giving the Hambantota Port to China on a 99-year lease, together with a 50-square km industrial zone, was one of the deadliest deeds of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. With the Rajapaksas back in saddle, this Chinese footprint is likely to grow, and expand into multiple areas. Once again, Pakistan provides an example – the Long Term Master Plan for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). According to Pakistan newspaper Dawn, the 231-page plan was prepared by China Development Bank and the National Development Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China. “…thousands of acres of agricultural land will be leased out to Chinese enterprises to set up “demonstration projects” in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology. A full system of monitoring and surveillance will be built in cities from Peshawar to Karachi, with 24 hour video recordings on roads and busy marketplaces for law and order. A national fibreoptic backbone will be built for the country not only for internet traffic, but also terrestrial distribution of broadcast TV, which will cooperate with Chinese media in the “dissemination of Chinese culture.” …But the main thrust of the plan actually lies in agriculture… From provision of seeds and other inputs, like fertiliser, credit and pesticides, Chinese enterprises will also operate their own farms, processing facilities for fruits and vegetables and grain. Logistics companies will operate a large storage and transportation system for agrarian produce”.

If free trade deals with China and massive Chinese investments deliver countries from poverty, Pakistan should be a paradise now. Instead, the country teeters from one financial crisis to the next. Pakistan’s dire present might presage Sri Lanka’s coming future.

Intimations of the coming future

So here we are, caught between three disasters: Covid-19 pandemic, 20th Amendment, and growing Chinese domination. 

According to media reports, people under police curfew in Minuwangoda, Veyangoda, Divulapitiya are experiencing severe food shortages. The rapidity with which curfew was imposed left them with no time to stock provisions. Many lacked the financial means to do so. The government is too busy with the 20th Amendment related matters, such as trying to sow dissension within the Amarapura and Ramangnga Nikayas for their principled opposition to the 20th. The PS secretary for the area is reduced to asking the public for parcels of dry rations (Gossip Lanka – 17.10.2020).

This week alone, two suspects were killed in police custody – a 21-year-old man in Pugoda and a 51-year-old woman in Hikkaduwa. Such deaths are becoming as much of a new normal as burning down of forests. This week Mamduwa forest in Vavuniya was burnt for the third time. So far no culprits have been arrested. In the meantime, the CID has another new director, the third under Gotabaya-Mahinda rule. Having lost its battles with the rice-milling mafia, the government has removed all price controls. 

No constitutional amendment can remedy Inefficiency and Inanity genes.

What the 20th Amendment will do is to legalise abuse and enthrone impunity. For example, when the cabinet decided to do away with transport permits for sand, gravel and soil, the judiciary struck down the decision. If the 20th is in place, judges who make decisions unpalatable to political authority might find themselves subjected to lightening transfers and other punitive measures. After all, the Rajapaksas did impeach a chief justice, illegally, for going against their wishes. 

In Pakistan, the Imran Khan government appointed a committee to study CPEC deals. The report accused Chinese companies of ‘malpractices’ such as inflating costs. For instance, two coal fired plants overcharged by 3 billion dollars. Once the 20th Amendment weakens the oversight-powers of the Auditor General, the chances of any such irregularities coming to light in Sri Lanka would be less than zero.

A number of pro-Rajapaksa monks have come out against the 20th Amendment. They should remember what befell the Asgiriya and Malwatte Mahanayakes when they wrote to Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking the cancellation of night races in Kandy in 2014. The request was ignored and the races went ahead.

For the Rajapaksas, the monks, like the military, are just a means to their own end, familial power and dynastic succession. 

“Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are,” goes a Spanish proverb. The Rajapaksas walk with each other. Even their closest supporters don’t walk with them, but walk behind.

Other than the family, everyone else is curry leaves, including Ape Hamuduruwos.

Already, Rajapaksa enablers from Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to Wimal Weerawansa, are getting a crash course in the true nature of familial rule. Mr. Rajapaksa’s security has been slashed, while Mr. Weerawansa is being told by Basil Rajapaksa supports to leave, if he doesn’t like the way things are. 

Once the 20th is through, the Rajapaksa acolytes will become completely expendable. Not only will they not have their way; they will not be able have their say either. 

If the non-Rajapaksa SLPP and the SLFP say yes to the 20th Amendment, they will become enablers of their own enslaving. To avoid that future, they need not stand up and shout a resounding no to the 20th Amendment. All they have to do is to stay at home. Because they have a cough. 

Even pandemics can have their uses.  

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Latest comments

  • 17
    50

    The writer seems obsessed with China.
    China had come to the rescue even under UNP governments. In fact, the first occasion it made a concessionary deal was with the UNP government of 1952-56.
    *

    This country has a reputation for bad money management. It became a total consumer economy since the open economic policy of 1978. Japan got involved with trade and aid in a big way since then.
    The country’s foreign debt is estimated at $ 55 billion. Chinese hold 14% of this debt, Japan accounts for 12%, the Asian Development Bank 14% and the World Bank 11%. (WIKIPEDIA)
    The country owes most to Japan if the ADB loans are counted.
    *
    The national budget is drafted with IMF guidance.
    *
    “…the largest portion of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt was international sovereign bonds, which amounted to 39 percent of the total foreign debt as of 2017. These are commercial borrowings obtained from international capital markets since 2007, and such bonds have resulted in soaring external debt servicing due to the nature of the debt.”
    (Source: https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/is-sri-lanka-really-a-victim-of-chinas-debt-trap/)
    *
    My position is not that China is altruistic in its aid schemes. But it succeeds where the West has failed in Africa and now even Latin America, despite the hue and cry about the ‘Chinese debt trap’.

    • 42
      3

      While the country owes most to Japan if the ADB loans are counted, is it not very unfortunate that the Light Railway project they proposed on very favourable terms was cancelled and may be, may be given to a Chinese company.
      Yes, China succeeds. But not in giving favourable terms but more the lack of accountability in their system, gives much scope for .. you know what, to benefit a few.
      Would you say the Chinese Aid we have received so far has benefitted us or made us more debt ridden due white elephants.

      • 20
        2

        Our rulers of all shades are to blame for taking loans from whatever source to spend on white elephants instead of focusing on sustainable and useful projects. Was it for example really necessary to build the Airport highway without first improving internal roads in Colombo? It only succeeded in clogging up the previously tolerable Kandy road , and made parking in Colombo impossible.
        We ought to ask ourselves why we need loans in the first place instead of blaming the lender, or the donor in the case of the MCC.

        • 3
          7

          Old Codger,
          These projects in Hanbantota, except Cricket Stadium were identified and formulated after conducting feasibility studies by a team of experts who served in the Southern Development Board established by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Hambantota port project idea was there for about 20 years. According to information I got from a member of the Board, Sri Lankan investors were interested in investing in Southern Expressway project but CBK did not give the approval because ‘Santhosam’ was not there.
          There are dumbos in this forum who keep on saying that these projects are ‘White Elephants’ because Rajapakshe regime implemented these projects. Rajapakshes had worked out plans to manage these projects but ‘Jadapalana’ dong keys came and messed up the whole thing.
          Rajapakshe regime improved roads in Colombo as well as all over the country. I know this because I have travelled all over the country. Sitting in UK, you are making silly statements.

          • 10
            1

            Ok if Sri Lankan investors were interested in investing in Southern Expressway project but CBK did not give the approval because ‘Santhosam’ was not there, why did not the Rajapakses get the these same investors instead of China. So it follows that local investors still refused the santhosam but may be there was that from the Chinese.
            Similarly Hambantota port project idea was there for about 20 years and not implemented because it was not necessary to rush without proper and adequate financing at reasonable rates. Of course if not interested in the reasonable financing, anyone can rush in without thinking of the consequences.
            Why leave out – except Cricket Stadium – at least you accept that. Also ignored is the Convention Centre – you accept that too.
            No one says that these projects are ‘White Elephants’ because Rajapakshe regime implemented these projects, but simply because they are white elephants – very expensive to keep and no revenue generation.

            • 1
              6

              Ferryman,
              Don’t you know that investors change their mind when Governments change? Anyway, Rajapakshe regime wanted to implement all the projects because they were interconnected. This kind of projects do not generate income overnight. There is a gestation period. They are not ‘White Elephants’.
              According to international experts, Hambantota port could be a gold mine for Sri Lanka. Dr. Wikunana Singham who was good in selling assets of the country sold it to China. ‘Jadapalana’ dong keys deliberately ruined Mattala airport by storing paddy.
              It is bad luck of Sri Lankans that Mahinda Rakapakshe got defeated in 2015 and ‘Jadapalana; dong keys who ruined the economy came to power.

          • 5
            0

            Eagle,
            Firstly, I am not sitting in UK, unlike you in Canada. You may have ” travelled all over” but I have lived next to the Kandy Road all my life. I know much better than you what the Airport expressway did to traffic. If studies were carried out by “a team of experts”, that only shows the calibre of the experts.
            Do you seriously expect anyone to believe that there are Sri Lankan investors with the money to build highways?
            We may be Dumbos but not asses to fall for tall tales spread by bitter old liars.

        • 1
          1

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

          For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

      • 13
        0

        The LRT project was at interest rate of 0.1% yes 0.1% pa., 14 year grace period yes no payment for 14 years, and 40 year yes 40 year, payback period. Enough time to gestate and make profits for payback with very minute pressure on debt service. Are these not fantastic terms but then there was no OTHER payback unlike from a chinese company for the few at the top.
        Sad indeed that people still defend these culprits.

    • 27
      4

      Yes it (China) succeeds where the West has failed in Africa and now even Latin America and of course in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, all countries where a very few have benefitted in oodles.

      • 10
        14

        F
        Have you checked the details.
        What has Western overseas aid achieved for the development of any African country? Compare it with that of China: the best example is Somalia, still a US ally.
        *
        Our “white elephants” were not chosen by China. Not one was imposed on this country.
        Several projects (including H’tota) went to China because support was not forthcoming.
        Kindly read “https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/is-sri-lanka-really-a-victim-of-chinas-debt-trap/” and disprove it if you can.
        *
        There has been a difference in the attitude that China adopts towards other countries and what the west adopts. To treat the other as an equal does not come easy to those used to ruling countries as masters.
        China’s role in Africa started in the 1960s during the anti-colonial struggle, during which the West sided with colonialist Portugal, Apartheid SA and racist Rhodesia. It is still healthier than that of the West even after socialism ended in China.
        What is the US ding in Africa? Building more military bases!
        Trust in China has a far longer healthier history than nitpickers imagine.

        • 10
          5

          “Our “white elephants” were not chosen by China. Not one was imposed on this country.
          May I know who is this “our”? Royals and acolytes? Why our, why not only “your” and your communism obsession? It is absolutely a poor logic selling the country and trying to prove dead communism is right.
          Every project after Nuraicholai was plug out of Lankawe by the Dragon starting in 2013, damaging the 50 computers including, Defense Department’s. Nuraicholai was negotiated by CBK for $250M. China did that for $500M, paying 40% commission for politicians. If one Democratic country’s company had done this, Lankawe would have driven it to bankrupt by suing in its own country. For the cost increase of Nuraicholai, China has to take 100%. Building Islands in sea is no country’s favorable trade but only China’s. That idea is completely Chinese. Using sovereign land to build industrial zone in Hangbangtota is not Ranil’s idea. I don’t like Ranil. But I know he tried best to avoid that situation. After negotiated, he bragged that he had made Pong Cing freehold as leasehold. I know gave free land on lease to redeem the freehold land.
          This is not Tamils problem. But if IC wants to protect Indian Ocean, Tamils have to be free. They only can pull China out from Lankawe.

    • 7
      1

      SJ, you are right but you missed the biggest chunk of loans = ISBs. Over $15 billion. Interest rate is 7.85% for some. These are commercial. Chinese loans are just $5 billion with very low interest rate. When you take Chinese projects as a whole they are profitable. Japan $4.5 billion without ADB.

      Sri Lanka used ISBs to do reconstruction of the north (because India did not want China there and China was not interested in these massive duds – they are not government income generating projects just consumption or “black hole projects”). Mr 10% (in reality Mr 25%) boasted they resettled 300,000 IDPs (now we don’t hear IDPs!!!) within 3 years and even mighty USA failed to do for cyclone Karina IDPs!! Well, it came at a hefty price tag – ISB debt trap. No free lunches.

      State sponsored houses, byroads, schools, hospitals, rail roads, public electricity infrastructure, school labs, etc. were built in the north, Batticaloa district and upcountry. India also loaned money for these but very little. Then the northern provincial council started adding more cost that was never there before. None of them are income generating assets for the government! Northern economy grew massively but northern people didn’t pay taxes. Government didn’t get the return to repay these loans. Then government borrowed more ISBs to repay old ISBs. Debt trap.

      • 0
        2

        Ask any of the readers who knows who did what work before/during and after the war in Jaffna…..and who paid for it in your listing???

        Your friend Siva’s investments coming to Sri Lanka/Intellectual property shared in planning the future for the people??? no no no..the money now goes to Singapore/Malaysia and all other investments around the world………yes some folks are kind enough to collect some money for the orphanages FP/TNA created for the 70 years…..the widow makers/Ratha Pottu Mafia FP/ITAK/TNA investments.

        How can North pay taxes when the MP’s we elected send all the children to fight causes and foreign lands for the past 70 years in the making……….whilst they sat around and planned whom they want get killed in their opposition…….seems you know nothing about?

      • 1
        1

        G
        Thanks.

      • 0
        0

        GATAM,
        .
        I intend saying more in response to this article.
        .
        “ISB” – you’ve used it many times. I’ve googled “What does ISB mean in a Finance context?”. I just didn’t get the meaning.
        .
        It would have been sensible for you to give the expanded version when first used in your comment. I’m not going to spend half an hour to see if it has been used before in this discourse.
        .
        I think that all realise that I have sufficient English!
        .
        The same applies to a response to somebody else’s comment. I often address the person whom I’m responding to. It is sometimes bnot clear. On a computer, the indent is very little, so it’s difficult to tell. (My usual browser is Firefox.) On my Android phone, it’s so great that after five indents it is only one word to a line.

    • 9
      2

      No body can stand against, LITTLE CHINA in indian ozean aka once called as the pearl of asia for europeans- becoming a slavery – akin to that of Zimbabwe under Mugabe.
      :
      Srilanka MUGABE is now defending Badiudeen in order to abuse his democratic rights. ‘:
      The very same Rajapaksehs branded that muslim Dr to have worked against over sinhala pregnet mothers making them eternally infertile. To this date, nothing is proved, … and anyone with some BIO knowledge would be clear it was impossible to stay pressing the falopian tube amidst such surgeries. The ballige puthas would believe, that a surgery room is one-doctor show. Howver, those fake media that painted the picture is naked today. Nobody seems to care much.

      • 0
        3

        How can you compare Mugabe, who is still highly respected by people across Africa for his defiance of imperialist powers, with any (I mean ANY) modern Sri Lankan leader?

        • 2
          0

          Yes, A valid point.
          .
          GR is only popular in Srilanka while Mufabe is still respected in and out of his country but within Africa. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

          • 2
            0

            Robert Mugabe and Joshu Nkomo started with good intentions. Ian Smith, and with the help of British, Rhodesia achieved majority rule.

            But Mugabe and Nkomo are opposite end s of the political spectrum and Nkomo was kicked out of the country
            In the end Mugabe got too greedy.
            Like our Rajafukses

    • 9
      0

      Dear Friends,

      Look at how the MEDIA men behave today

      1) Shameless media men have the audacity to question, that Badiudeen is hidden at Mr Premadasa `s
      .
      2) Shamless media men have the the audacity to question, that Badiudeen is hidden at Mr Anura Kumara Dhisananayakas.
      .
      3) But WHEN RAISING questions to RAJAPKASHE, the media men look being squeezed by UNEXPLAINABLE fears.
      :
      4)Why cant THIRISANNU DOMINATED srilnaka would not get it ?

  • 9
    14

    Some more from
    https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/is-sri-lanka-really-a-victim-of-chinas-debt-trap/
    “Of course, there were serious concerns regarding the economic sustainability and the necessity of the projects financed by the Chinese at the time those were initiated. Yet the bigger issue behind Sri Lanka’s debt crisis was the choice to borrow from international capital markets at commercial rates at a time when the country’s exports were going down even while the government consistently failed to fix structural issues such as the reduction of trade, rising protectionism, and reduction of government revenue. With those structural issues, serious concerns regarding debt management are inevitable. Resolving the problem will require a consistent effort for reforms, which involves serious political challenges.”
    *
    The problem is with us.
    Some do not bother to question intentions when the US is itching to impose its MCC project worth US$$ 480 million, with a military deal already in place and another in the pipeline.
    India successfully blocks Chinese involvement in projects in the North (& East too). None of the victims of Sinophobia calls it undue interference in our affairs.
    Those who screamed loud about the Chinese virus in the first half of the year dare not to talk about the Indian virus that started our deadly ‘Second Wave” of COVID-1.

    • 22
      2

      Did not the choice to borrow from international capital markets at commercial rates follow, as a consequence, because of the economic non-sustainability and the actual necessity of the projects financed by the Chinese at the time those were initiated, and which never gestated to generate returns, Very little grace periods also added to the pressure of debt service.
      Fully agree that this country has a reputation for bad money management, but also financial irregularities due bribery and corruption.

      • 8
        1

        Ferryman,
        You are correct. Very bad decisions were made to borrow money at commercial rates from China when other sources refused citing non-viability of proposed projects. The projects themselves were high visibility ones to boost political egos. But it seems to work politically, because the same lot have been re-elected. Whose fault is it? Not China’s for sure!

        • 0
          2

          OC
          Refusals were not always based on non-viability.
          The interests of a potential lender can militate against supporting a project.
          Such things have happened even at the time of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. (Egypt eventually nationalized Suez to generate funds.)

    • 3
      2

      SJ,

      “India successfully blocks Chinese involvement in projects in the North (& East too).”

      Spot on.

      That’s why government had to do it themselves (far more corrupt and inefficient than the Chinese) with ISB debt which is commercial and extremely expensive. None of those were government income generating projects unlike Chinese projects. Income in the hands of the people is not income in the hands of the government (which must repay) especially when those people do not pay taxes for 30 years.

      Humanitarian of course but pay the bill please. Lenders are not humanitarian at all.

    • 0
      2

      Dear SJ

      Thank you. We have the elected MP’s of Jaffna “fasting” outside the Indian embassy protesting about the the illegals spice traders entered Karainagar across the water?? They have also asked the Indian security services to explain this definition of the spices as to exactly what that does not require legal entry???

      Reporting this security breach to the Nation/Parliament??????The Diaspora watching the development on the social media/CCTV ready to act should any harm come to the Jaffna man and woman????? Indian PM send a special Navy/Coast guard investigating team to apologise to the citizens of Jaffna for this security breach??

      The Nations media chasing after the Indian Ambassador in Colombo for an answer??

      Did you not hear about it????? Just kidding.

      Umberto, Dr GS, Rajesh…..and few others on the case too.

      • 0
        2

        Just as they have protected the fisheries for the past 70 years from the thief’s??

        Our fishermen being violated in the seas and no one to tell the world?? I say ban all the parties that carry the word “Tamil” today and put these thugs behind the bar or send them to Tamil Nadu just as we did before as none of them ever be exposed to the public ever??????

        Is like allowing all the known child molesters in any community quite literally is it not?????? what is the supreme court doing wasting time on evaluating 20a and explaining to the same criminals as to why is ok etc…the one and only decent think that will end this scums forever from our soil???

    • 0
      0

      Some do not bother to question intentions when the US is itching to impose its MCC project worth US$$ 480 million, with a military deal already in place and another in the pipeline.
      No need to question but MCC and SOFA will be signed. Rushing 20A is for the reason of these two being signed and the President getting absolute power to do that and Legislature and Judiciary rendered impotent..

  • 18
    1

    Excellent statement and ideas BUT :
    As I have said earlier, they will never stand up and shout a resounding no to the 20th Amendment. and they will not stay at home.
    They have been cowed down even without the 20A.
    Last we heard was that though there have been a few government parliamentarians who have had the courage to state that the 20th Amendment is excessive in its attempt to transfer power from parliament to the presidency, you will note that subsequently their courage has leaked down their trouser legs in fear and bowed to the President at Temple Trees meeting.
    Voting time would indeed be battle for triumph of GOOD or EVIL.

    • 15
      4

      Thanks Tissaranee. I’ve taken a quick look at the article, to which there now are three responses. I will listen to the video later.
      .
      I’ve been listening, on American videos, to impassioned claims, during the inerrogation of nominee Barrett to the SCOTUS, to the right to life of every individual.
      .
      I live in Sri Lanka. Have I a right to life?
      .
      To the bitter end, I will unambiguously procalim my identity. I hope that Gota and his Pohottuwa MPs will realise that while it is possible for them to continue to suppress or “white-van” us who quietly but clearly and non-violently disagree with them, that they, too, are mortal.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) aka Sinhala_Man

      • 2
        5

        Sinhala_Man,
        In Sri Lanka you got free education, free health service, a government job that assured your pay check at the end of the moth, a pension until you go six feet under, pension money to your wife if she is alive, free education to your children.
        Although you talk about ‘White Vans’, you are still there to criticize Rajapakshes.
        What else you want?

        • 2
          0

          Eagle,
          “In Sri Lanka you got free education, free health service, a government job that assured your pay check at the end of the moth…….what else do you want?
          Didn’t you yourself have all of the above? Why then did you bugger off to Canada? Stop being a hypocrite.

          • 4
            0

            My dear Old Codger,

            He is surely not in Canada. Once this man happened to talk a lot about Peradeniya University. Your guess has not had his uni education as Pera.
            :
            So EagleEYE should be a graduate of Pera.He is totally against Tamils. Meaning no doubt, a gang of undergraduates may have raped him in rag seasons. I believe it today.
            :
            And from what he repeatedly adds, it is public secret that the ultra racist is very likely living in DU (Down Under). There are whol elot of lanken graduates live on the social funds being offered to them, after moving to AUS. I know it from my friends. Some think it is no worth to go for jobbing, but live like Kammaliyas.
            :
            i know you would make it diffult to see the facts, but time ahead of us wll reveal lot more about his whereabouts. We are patients to see the truths.

        • 2
          1

          LM,
          According to what I suspect is his identity, he is in fact a Pera graduate. He went on to become a Chemistry professor and Vice-Chacellor before migrating to Canada.You can check the FB page “Placenames”.
          I’ll give you a hint
          Eagle talks about SM getting “paychecks”. That’s a very North American usage. There are some things you just can’t hide!

        • 2
          2

          Dear Eagle Eye,

          I don’t want the Rajapaksas running my life.
          .
          We didn’t have a king here; the Rajapaksas were elected to serve us. I know that, unfortunately, that is true only in theory.
          .
          I have given you a civil answer, but that may not always be the case because the very fact that you dare to address me in the way you have is insulting.
          .
          I will decide what I want.

        • 0
          2

          Dear EE

          This is not what was told to the world/each immigration………the standard list as follows

          “Citizen only act (that is to do with the workers left behind by the colonial masters with 10 year period of arrival in the Sinhala heart land)/Sinhala only act(Majority has no English knowledge did not matter) & the riots that ensued/state religion issues (we all had religious freedom and was provided for an entirely different reason that is to appease/respect the Majority who were deprived of many things in their own land by the colonial masters too)/1977 riots/1983 riots”

          A 70 year history of FP atrocity/aggravated and repeated injury to the Nation get told with no head or tails….the same story engrained into the Tamil children through hate speeches/Tamil Nadu Bollywood s*** resulted in the “mass child abuse” the world has never seen……FP killers the Facist’s of Asia created a monstrous event that has taken away so many Mother Lankan Life..

        • 2
          0

          EE,
          .
          was für eine Einstellung ? What an attitude ?
          :
          Man, you yourself proved, that Free education did not bring much to the srilankens. You as an octagenarian yet today today stranded in sinhala racism against their own people who belongs to the minority. But you the kind pingonas live not in the country but abuse the social funds of developed nations proving all the forged documents to those countries.
          :
          In Australia, there are lot more srilankens that rely on statefunds but not shedding a drop of sweat for their living. That is also an another disadavantage of srilnaken free education, allowed them to abuse it and leave the country for greener pastures even without covering few years of services to the mother land.
          :
          Free education should further be there, but those who leave the country after becoming MEDICAL and Engineearing graduates should be forced to work at least 5 years for the motherland, or they have to pay what the govt finanzed for their basic educations ( 50 000 or more US dollars/5 years ).
          .
          State should bring the kind of new laws not allowing EEs or the like PINGONAs be bred in the future.

      • 4
        0

        My dear SM,

        You question:

        I live in Sri Lanka. Have I a right to life?

        No you dont.
        :
        Unfortunately, only Rajakshes and their backlickers have the right to life in our birth place srilanka today.

        They behave today as if ALL OF VOTERS that voted for them are ULTRA fools:

  • 20
    1

    In the next week, the government is planning to debate 20A and pass it which is a sign that there will be a “sudden escalation” of Covid-19 next week.
    Going by the signs, it is apparent that Covid-19 will linger until October 29 with a possibility of curfew in Colombo until the conclusion of the visit of Mike Pompeo (and Mark T. Esper). After that, the virus will disappear like magic, test results will be negative and all will be well!!

    • 22
      0

      Champa,
      .
      very true – the style we see today, is no different to all abusive levels MR regime number 01 turned out to be by 2015- Rajakashes make all decisions, leaving their so called cabinet ministers in silence mode.
      .
      Next few hours, days, there will also be some more arrests or speculations about Arjuna Mahnedran ‘s and so called bond scam ‘s level of destruction may have done to srilanken economy.
      :
      In the same time, they the rulers would keep it for them why sudden CHINESE deligation arrived and stayed not even a full day in their colony- aka SRILANKA DEMOCRACTIC REPUBLIC – /robbed island by Rajapakshes for living up their perverse propensities

      And my friends who are as Journalists from EUrope questions about the probablity of occurence of any further misterious murders on SRILANKEN soil. – they compare them with that of ALL MESTERIOUS KILLING OF Jamal Khashoggi in Oct 2018.

    • 18
      0

      If passed, the 20A will mark the “end of a journey” for SriLanka.
      Although there are a large number of articles in English against the 20A, there are only a few in Sinhala.
      A well drafted letter against the 20A has been sent to the President by 6 outspoken chief Buddhist Theros who were instrumental in bringing Gotabhaya Rajapaksa into power, including; Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero, Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero, Ven. Dr. Induragare Dhammarathana Thero, Ven. Malwane Chandrarathana Thero & Ven. Kapugollawe Anandakiththi Thero.
      The Venerable Theros have rightly opposed to;
      1)Introduction of emergency bills
      2)Removal of Article 53 of the Constitution
      3)Removal of the barrier for dual citizens to enter Parliament (& contesting for Presidency. Don’t you think 2&3 has a connection?)
      4)Removal of certain government institutions from the purview of the Auditor General
      5)Granting unlimited powers to the President jeopardizing the independence of the judiciary
      6)Weakening the EC
      7)Removal of the Clause that caps the number of ministers to 30
      8)Deprivation of people’s right to legally challenge the President against any unconstitutional acts
      The growing powerful opposition to 20A has isolated the Rajapaksa-Brothers.
      The visit of Mike Pompeo (probably his last visit) is proof that 20A and the MCC & SOFA are connected!

    • 13
      4

      Dear Champa,
      .
      LM has responded
      with “very true” from somewhere in Europe.
      .
      Me, the man he terms “the gambada ingirisi iskolemahattaya”, in Uva, will say that “I don’t know”.
      .
      Actually, they mean the same thing . The dictatorship, in effect, is already in place. Why are more powers necessary?
      .
      Soon, an attempt may be made, to block even our access to these websites. I’m sure that you will be as happy as me if we are all proved wrong. These prophecies of ours aren’t designed to be of the self-fulling type.

      • 12
        0

        Dear Champa Dear Mr SM.

        please check the points listed below:

        1) How BRANDIX got caught with COVID ?
        .
        2)What happened to Badiudeen ? So called powerful LEADERS according them to have liberated the nation from REBELLS, have been unable to catch Badiudeen for the last 3 days ?
        .
        3) Yoshitha Rajapakshe, alleged high criminal to the eyes of ONES with some sanity, is now chief office to PM secretariat ?
        .
        4) Why cant people see it right yet today ? Tax payers fund abuses are restarted to the very same manner they did prior to 2015

        5) How the world named SRILANKA as the 2nd country tohave contained COVID as news headlines made it ? Why do they stay silent today, what is the role of SRILANKEN media today ? .

        WHY DO PEOPLE STAY CALM AND QUIET EVEN IF NEXT WEEK WOULD BE CRUCIAL FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY ? If 20A WOULD BE PASSED; THIS COUNTRY WOULD BE A SOMALIA:: FOR SURE.

      • 7
        0

        Former muslim minister has become their foot ball today. The architect of POLITICAL game is produced by Medamulana Mafia Boss. This is no different to that Namal Kumara led MODA Sirisena s gon parts.

        If anyone challenge to see BADIUDEEN or any high criminals live, please go to MEDAMULANA cave.
        :
        Police is made servile to Medamulana Rascals today
        .
        Courts are made servile to Medamualna Rascals today
        :
        Health ministry is servile to Medamulana Rascals today:
        :
        People will have to come to street HOLDING banners ” OUR LIFE MATTERs” as totally neglected black people started their protests.

        • 7
          0

          Typo,
          as politically neglected black corners in the US are treated.
          .
          Not every where the black is treated that way, but some parts of the US. At the time new orelands was hardly hit by natural catastrophes, only black were seen among those who lost their everything .. .. my friends from the Texas were speechless not being able to leave me an answer. THat is US politics, where they have threats, are the main habitats of the black.

          Likewise, there are lot more poor in our small country whose info is kept away from mean media networks. Some pvt YT channels reveal them more today.

          However, their blood is being sucked by Rajapkshes with their direct nodding. That is called, STANDING to protect the nation – in the reality ballige puthas born Medamulana cave have sold out the island for their selfish gains. They behave like jackels in front of the visiting chinese state delegations.
          :
          FAKE and BIASED media would not utter a single word against RAJAPAKSHES dog like behavioiurs… Ohoma yang is the MOTTO for these days.

    • 4
      0

      Nice prediction!

      Covid-19 is in community transmission stage in SL. After 20A is passed and after the visit by Americans Covid-19 will turn into Rat Fever!

      Meanwhile SL navy started a joint military drill with the Indian navy today for 3 days. None of them quarantined!! Expect another spike in the navy, army and the police after this.

  • 14
    2

    The way this government (President) deals with China creates a reasonable doubt that Easter Bombing, Covid-19 introduction to Sri Lanka earlier and now and 20th amendment are linked. They are very urgent to get through the 20th amendment. There are some opposition among Sinhala SLPP politicians which is another barrier to get two third. That is why they are trying to buy some Muslim politicians. Rishard might appear for voting. God knows!

    • 8
      0

      Ajith,
      .
      Please let me correct you here, Govt is fallen that deep so that they dont want to deal, but only to surrender to any kind of commands being given to them by Chinese visiting delegation.
      :
      Srilanka MEDIA is fallen to the very same levels, but stay further being BIASED to Rajakashe goons.
      :
      What a biased MEDIA frauds being governed in the country keeping the very same stupid people in dark. People are perhaps innocient, however, Rajaakshes criminals are world champions to fish on muddy waters. No matters COVID numbers go up, ballige puthas should get their 20A passed by MERCY COWs in the parliament.

  • 12
    1

    ‘Perhaps someone should inform the President that a FTA with China in this juncture is likely to increase our trade deficit to stratospheric levels. Given our dependent status, any free trade pact will be written in Beijing and confer most comparative advantages on China.’

    Current turmoil in this country was brought in by the ‘Sinhala Extremism’ practiced by the pohottuwa. The voting pattern showed the gona citizens locations. The Rajapakshe family has no consideration for its citizens but to enjoy the comforts at the cost of citizens suffering. Any opposition either earns millions or forced suicide. Maha sanga is also responsible for letting down the people of their faith. The last option would be that if the MP’s vote against the conscience of the people for Amendment 20, is to take away the civic rights of all those who voted for and take away all their properties to settle the loans taken by the state. We have worked hard for over 40 years earning so much foreign exchange, now remain a one of the citizen owing Rs 620,000 to the world at large with no pension. MR alone had robbed Rs. 156,000 from every individual out of the 620,000. They don’t want to understand.

  • 12
    4

    China is here to stay. Get used to it. Not only SL, China is a major economic partner of most countries in the world. Why should SL be the exception?

    The problem is not China. The problem is corrupt political family rule. If not for China they will get Russia, USA, Israel or Qatar and run the country the way they want.

    China phobia is racism.

    • 9
      12

      China and Russia are much better than the USA, Israel and the UK which are famous for disrespecting the sovereignty of other countries.
      But ANOTHER loan to the tune of US$ 500 million from China to Rajapaksa government? HELL, NO!!!!

      • 14
        4

        Champa,
        China and Russia both oppress and suppress minorities and disadvantaged people like Srilanka.

        • 8
          11

          The US loves its Black people I suppose!

          • 11
            3

            USA had a black President.

            • 3
              10

              What has that achieved for the Black people?
              You must have missed out on news this year.
              *
              BTW,
              India had not one but two Dalit Presidents. Has that changed anything for the Dalits?

              • 11
                2

                What you are saying is that China, Russia and Srilanka are better than USA in terms of oppressing minorities?

                • 6
                  1

                  Nicely put, US do not run Gulags for non-White Americans the way China imprisons Uighurs and Kazakhs to have them brain washed!

                  • 3
                    1

                    Ari,
                    “US do not run Gulags for non-White Americans”
                    You need to look up what the US did to US citizens of Japanese descent in 1942. Citizens of German or Italian descent were treated differently.

                    • 3
                      0

                      Your point is valid and you have my thumbs up for it, though it had happened in a pre UDHR era.

              • 17
                2

                SJ
                Sri Lanka had two female Prime Ministers from the same family.
                Has that changed anything for the women?

              • 1
                0

                A communist cannot understand the difference between US president and Indian President. India still not be able get out of Nehru Family reign though now by blood the family is no longer even 10% Indian. Because of this madness, one time secular democracy now Extremist Hindu Conservatives. America didn’t slip like that. But time to time a democratic country will be showing different faces unlike Stalin’s single face.

          • 9
            4

            SJ
            At least they have their rights respected.,Unlike CHINA and SRILANKA where minorities are suppressed or even put to death. Haven’t you heard about the freedom in US for minorities to contest and even elected to high offices, Can you sight any such example in your beloved CHINA, where people are bused out in droves as what your beloved leader Gota did to the Tamils in Colombo , back in early 2010s. Have you been to china and talked to the common man? They will tell you their sufferings , once they are sure you are NOT a government spy.So stop holding a candle for one of the most abhorrent country in the world.

            • 0
              2

              Dear Umberto

              Oh dear oh dear we need to meet up Bro. Lot of things to teach each other man.

              Do not trust the google and wikipedia search for everything bro?

        • 6
          2

          Ajith, same with USA. Have you forgotten BLM and ICB so quickly? African Americans are about 13% of US population the same percentage of Hindus in SL. Same problem. Same history. Same thing.

          • 5
            2

            GATAM,
            I don’t know where did you get the percentages of Hindus in Sri Lanka.
            Secondly, I talk about minorities, not Hindus. You must learn the difference between race and religion.at the time of independence of Ceylon (1946 Census), There were 23% Tamils and 9% Muslims (Tamil speaking) were in this country. Even after ethnic cleansing, Tamils are more than 15% and Muslims 10%.
            Thirdly, It is not the same history. Tamils history is same as Sinhalese history.

            • 1
              4

              Doesn’t matter. All humans are from one race.

              Minorities are divided in SL and USA differently. But the outcome is the same. Hindus in SL = African Americans in USA in terms of percentage, history and discrimination.

              From 2012 census.

              • 6
                0

                GATAM
                For your information Hindus in SL = African Americans in USA in terms of percentage MAY be true, but I think the Hindus in SL is about only 10%.
                But your claim they are the same as Afroamericans inhistpory and discrimination is NOT TRUE. You must go back and do more googling to find out what is reality, that is if you are open minded.

                • 0
                  3

                  Dear GATAM

                  Ae you saying I am not the first aboriginal/native of the entire land for the past million years?

                  I always thought you entered the Island from the Southern coast and pushed us all to Tamil Nadu……we are the remaining ones because of the FP fighting for our rights you know. Cool.

                  You left a few of us in the upcountry and Colombo most appreciated.

      • 5
        4

        Champa

        “China and Russia are much better than the USA, Israel and the UK which are famous for disrespecting the sovereignty of other countries.”

        Could you cite any comparative studies on ‘ disrespecting the sovereignty of other countries’.

      • 6
        2

        Whoever whatever being said and done, USA is the leading nation to buy srilanken products. That makes srilanka dependent on them.

        If Rajapakshe idiots would feel that they can srilanken ECONOMY, it is just a dream.

        European leaders are not happy with Rajaakshe politics. Not many in EU would agree with Rajapakshe barbaric acts. They truly know that criminals that should be kept in cages are elected by people for some reasons.

        Right at the moment, Dr Merkel does not even mention the name of megalomaniac brother govt of srilanka. We are made to be an another Zimbabwians.

        To their eyes, SIRISENA was somewhat better. Even if everyone down their would hahte sirisena forever.

        UK is believed to be in a dangerous situation not being able to manage COVID. Their numbers go up almost every day. They are no different to Portuguese and Spaniards, not even able to work on their COVID estimations.

        I think not being biased to any countries, srilankens should move on middlepath.

    • 7
      1

      “China phobia is racism.”
      GATAM – Chinese president may invite you to join his communist party.

      China never use the word Racism or genocide even when it comes to Uyghur Muslims.

      There is no concentration camps in China. But universities to re-educate the Uyghur Muslims.

      These Uyghur Muslims are so happy there.

      The Chinese are also educating the Rajapakses how to ply the game

  • 18
    4

    As usual Tisaranee Gunasekara’s article is very timely.

    Sri Lanka started going down the slippery slope from the word go at independence in 1948. I have noticed the fall in prosperity from my childhood days up to now.

    From the beginning with D S Senanayake the so-called father of the nation onward there was no dedicated effort by any Sinhalese leader to build a nation for progress and prosperity. They were more concerned about building Sinhalese Buddhist hegemony in the island and filling their pockets.

    Seventy two years have passed and Sri Lanka does not still have a true political leader or statesman like late Lee Kuan Yew, who can unite the communities in a fair manner and move the country to progress and prosperity like Singapore.

    Human resources of Sri Lanka are used gainfully by developed countries, while people of Sri Lanka are immersed deeply in “Dunning-Kruger Effect” still groping in the dark.

    The so-called 2500-year old civilization of the island pre-dating the Sinhalese language has truly become decadent and decaying.

    Foreign powers are taking advantage of the foolish Sri Lankan leaders to their advantage. Will the people ever realize their folly?

    Sri Lanka is unfortunate because it hasn’t still produced a dedicated leader who has the well being of the nation in his/her heart.

    • 14
      1

      Thiru, sad but true. Seventy two years and there are still villages without electricity or clean water.

      • 17
        1

        Stanley

        “Seventy two years and there are still villages without electricity or clean water.”

        According to Sri Lanka Census 2011 about 92,000 families in Sri Lanka have no toilet facilities.

        • 5
          2

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

          For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

          • 9
            0

            a14455 / October 18, 2020

            Thanks for making it short.
            :
            Get well soon !

        • 8
          1

          Native, indeed. Even malnutrition is still rampant. https://www.wfp.org/countries/sri-lanka

          • 2
            3

            Sad. But some photos in the link relate to Tamil Nadu, not SL. Little SL cannot feed TN.

          • 8
            0

            Stanley,

            Ironically, even if their malnutrion rate are that high, they are made to believe, Rajapakshes are teh savior of the nation
            :
            Rajaakshes instead suck the last blood of those people by abusing the funds allocated to the very same poor, for their upliftement.
            :
            Not few days ago, his notorious son was appointed as teh CHIEF officer for PM secretariat…that way, they SUCK the state funds. When would very same people be aware of the truths ?

    • 9
      1

      Thiru,
      “I have noticed the fall in prosperity from my childhood days up to now.”
      Actually no. In the 50’s even middle class people could hardly afford a bicycle, let alone a radio. Absolutely not a telephone. By the 70”s radios were affordable and Rediffusion closed down. By the 90’s you could buy as many phones or motorbikes as you wanted, and a TV too. Now there is satellite TV, gas cookers, more phones than people, and no parking. Isn’t that progress? I am not supporting any government, but life is much easier than it was for our parents.

      • 12
        1

        old codger

        On the whole I do agree with you while disagreeing on a few issues.

        “In the 50’s even middle class people could hardly afford a bicycle,… “

        However in the 70s there was severe scarcity for bicycle tyres under Weeping Widow’s rule. Just not for bicycle tyres but for everything from A to Z including හකුරු days, long queue days, ….. negative growth, stagflation, …. unemployment, ….

        “I am not supporting any government, but life is much easier than it was for our parents.”

        You are making a mistake.
        SJ believes Golden Age lasted only 7 years between 1970 and 1977.
        Do you consider හකුරු days being part of Golden Age?

        • 9
          1

          Native,
          “Just not for bicycle tyres but for everything from A to Z”
          I seem to remember there was no shortage of very disinfectant-scented “bale” suits.

          • 4
            0

            old codger

            “I seem to remember there was no shortage of very disinfectant-scented “bale” suits.”

            Did Sri Mao imported it on rubber “bale” barter system?
            My Elders believe bale was imported between 1967 and 1970.

      • 4
        3

        OC
        We are talking of prosperity which was not based on real wealth.
        When we had a good balance of payments, like after the rubber boom, we splashed it out.
        It has been hand to mouth prosperity.
        Improving on SWRDB, Sirima started on something in the 1960s to build an industrial base. Even the UNP, thanks to Philip G, started a whole range of small and medium industries. Some of them truly prospered.
        Errors of the1970-77 era were compounded by the Oil Crisis, which very few do not seem to know about or have forgotten altogether.
        As you say “life is much easier than it was for our parents”, but our parents were fortunate not to live on borrowed money.

        • 2
          0

          SJ,
          Living on borrowed money seems to be a Sri Lankan tradition. The offers of “interest-free” leasing are a good example.
          This country will progress when we start to live within our means. But that doesn’t provide commissions for some people.

          • 1
            0

            old codger

            “Living on borrowed money seems to be a Sri Lankan tradition. “

            We were persuaded to vote on the election pledge that whatever happens the party would have imported free rice from the Moon.

            I have no idea what Industrial base SJ is talking about and what sort of benefit the ordinary people enjoyed from such outdated heavy engineering projects?

            Without a consumer culture this country would not have progressed (if you call consumerism is progress). When the state stupidly enforced an arbitrary foreign exchange regime which banned importation of capital goods, raw materials, technology, know how, …… how on earth did the country prosper?

            My Grandma knew more about prosperity and how to achieve it than SJ’s weeping widow and her merry men.

          • 1
            0

            old codger

            “The offers of “interest-free” leasing are a good example.”

            Taiwanese economy was boosted by subsidised loan interests and high interest (35%) paid on savings probably between late 1940s and 1960s in order to encourage domestic savings (capital accumulation), increase investment, boost industrialisation, … ……

            With my little or no knowledge in economics I thought it was a good sound economic policy.
            Wimal Sangilik Karuppan Weerawansa should consider interest rates manipulation to boost industrialisation and his ego.

    • 5
      6

      “The so-called 2500-year old civilization of the island pre-dating the Sinhalese language”
      What makes you so sure that Sinhala did not exist 2500 years ago?
      Do not confuse writing with language.

    • 5
      5

      T
      “Sinhalese language has truly become decadent and decaying.”
      Is the plight of Tamil any better?

    • 2
      4

      Thiru, compared to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal, SL is way better.

      Maldives is many light years ahead of SL and SL could have done better. Bhutan is astronomically ahead of all in terms of happiness index. But still SL has done enormously better than India in terms of human development, GDP per capita, life expectancy, etc.

      Don’t forget LKY said he will make Singapore like Ceylon in 1965. And people voted for him. So even by 1965, Sri Lanka was good enough to be a role model for Singapore!

      Things started getting bad since 1965 for SL. Rajapaksas are the worst of the lot.

    • 3
      3

      “The so-called 2500-year old civilization of the island pre-dating the Sinhalese language has truly become decadent and decaying.”

      A racist statement. Tamil is far worse, isn’t it?

  • 3
    1

    Old Codger

    Raleigh bicycle, sunlight soap and kolumbu soda ( orange barley from elephant house ) were the luxuries once for northern people. The happiness they had is no more with all modern technology.

    N.V

    Brother, is this you in the photograph? Can’t believe; my impression shattered. A person always with full sense of humour , was expected to look like Amitabh Bachchan !

    • 6
      1

      NV see what happens when you use Coconut Pot?☺

      • 4
        0

        ???????

      • 2
        0

        Aishwarya Rai would have been fine.?

    • 2
      0

      ???????

    • 4
      0

      RMN
      ??????

    • 6
      0

      RMN,

      such display photos have nothing to do with the personal identities of the users.
      :
      NV
      .
      I dont think we can continue our postings as done sofar with the dawn of brutal regime soon following the pass of 20A.

  • 3
    6

    According to Orwell in SL “sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless” as identified by this Author…yes through this article the Author has trampled on all of us..SL is not as helpless as she used to be…..a work in progress so pleasing her subjects have elected whom they want to be ruled by in a democracy is hard to digest.

    Still some way to go and have the same public support as what the Head of State of Philippines enjoys 80 % +++++ unheard of in the entire planet.

    Political killings has started in earnest…….and wonder how a SL can write such a vile stuff (the actual content and how this is maturely compiled) not knowing Sri Lankan history perhaps? or unless otherwise recruited by a foreign agency specialises in toppling “helpless” governments around the world for more killing fields??

    • 3
      4

      correction….”Masterly” compiled and connecting un connectable dots to create a thread??

      Sounds like Suthenthiran paper traits…….spin was invented in Jaffna by FP and Tamil Nadu a long time ago..who turned our children as mercenaries….and “they” have indeed spun the entire region out of control rendering the entire regional planning “helpless” (not just limited to the National planning of SL) can only be concluded as International connivance/Regime change/toppling legally elected governments…….now has put India on a trajectory of a new Cold War with China no one will win……perhaps the population reduction in our planet is going to start where we have the highest make sense to you all??…..little did Orwell knew then that an average Sri Lankan could not work out after loosing all they had……..such is life the “alternative facts” can even be presented as above too.

  • 3
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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    • 9
      1

      a14455 / October 18, 2020

      Thanks for making it short.
      .
      Get well soon !

  • 5
    3

    Today I watched a video clip of a video conference by Elle Gunawanse. I dont giv enay repect for this type of monk. He lciam that the previous govenrment wanted to divide the country into 9 and that the draft new constitution they drew up at the urging of monks like the venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha thero was the work of thuppahiyas led by a thuppahi government. This a–hole in robes along with is mob of enablers were resoundingly critisised in the comments below the YouTube video. That is a good sign. It means that the masses are waking up to to duplicity of these saffron robed thugs who left no stone unturned to usher into power again, a murdering lying cheating family of scoundrels. According to Elle and his followers the Rajapukas are patriots and 20A is exactly what the country needs. The most pressing problem for Elle is not the debt crisis or slipping into the state of a vassal state of Chyna. It is Muslims. What these fellows are hoping to achieve is something similar to Hitler’s final solution for Muslims carried out by a similar minded megalomaniac with similar trappings of absolute power and backed by the very powerful communist dictatorship that engages in similar treatment of its own minorities.

    • 2
      1

      Pala,
      I think your video clip was out of date. The Bandit Monk Elle Gunawansa has done a U-turn and is for 20A now. If he’s paid enough, he’ll do another U-turn.

  • 7
    0

    According to the health minister all Covid cases uncovered in the country can be traced backed to the Brandix cluster. If we take her at her word then Brandix and the unbridled greed of the owners drove their employees to work while infected. We have people on this forum who refuse to believe that Brandix was given special loopholes. We are expected to believe that Brandix who got down three plane loads of people from highly infected India followed perfect protocol. So the cluster of more than 2,000 infections just happened out of nowhere. So now we have a country that cannot be trusted to sew underware. This will push the economy closer to the tipping point while the likes of Elle Gunawanse keep pushing for extermination of minorities as the most pressing problem. These are all stepping stones for the eventual Chinafication of Sri Lanka. While Elle is busy chasing after false issues the Sinhalese will slowly vanish. As Dr Harsha De Silva pointed out we are not far from having to beg for a debt restructure. When this happens the pain that will be inflicted upon the poor souls living in Sir Lanka will be unimaginable.

  • 7
    1

    It is only the Chinks who are prepared to invest in the cesspit called Srilanka. They have the expertise to manage Gulag type concentration camps which they surreptitiously call education camps for indoctrination centers in Zinjiang. In not too distant future Srilanks will have the good fortune to enjoy the fun.

    • 6
      0

      But Hancho,
      .
      why did Rajapakshes continue such development project without feasibility studies ?
      :
      Those MONARU and other exotic wild animal dominated areas were chosen, just because ballige puthas did not care much about the country but about their family wealth.
      :
      Today the armut/poverty levels drastically go up my country, may be compared to that of SOME COUNTRIES in POOR Africa, nevertheless the very same criminals to allow suck the last blood drop of the people by misleading them ?

      Just come with good arguments, HOW srilanken debts became in few hundreds billions within a shorter period of time, if RAJAPKSEHS were talented at fund mgt ?
      :
      How hard-up Rajapakshes became untouchably wealthier today ?
      .
      While poor of the poor are fallen deeper ? Go to UVA and Northern provinces, the situation is no difference to some parts in starving india.

    • 5
      0

      Besides, ,knowing that the consequences would be deadly, who would jump on to the crocodile mouth ? But Rajapkshes did it, because their DNA is no different to that of some tribal leaders led africa.
      :
      Today the blame is pushed on GOOD GOVERNANCE govt who brought some democracy during that period, but revealing RAJAPAKSHES bond scams which were oriiginated in 2008 by that Wandibattaya AJITHA Cabral under his boss Mr Megalo.

  • 3
    1

    The reality is because of the baby like behavior and the weaknesses in governance where the public opinion is flushed down the toilet bowl many countries think that they can dominate Sri Lanka and it people can be very easily colonized. The methodology of domineers differ and some have specialized very well in the art of administering extremely sweet sugar-coated super-laxatives, when taken would drain our sovereignty out of our bowels. I beg to disagree with the author that the domineer is only one country. In fact, there are many, who envy our geographic position. The situation is like a decent but incredibly attractive damsel who must save herself from several young muscular men who are having exceedingly high levels of testosterone. There are issues with 19A but its rectification should not be a situation where foreigners think that settling with one man is enough. That is exactly what happened to President JRJ when his arm was twisted by Rajiv Gandhi. Naturally all these dominos want all sorts of agreements signed reducing Sri Lanka to the level of a harlot who must entertain many men one at the same time if not at very short respites.

  • 2
    1

    The road to enslavement is paved with undue media fear psychosis on the Chinese virus coupled with the 20th Amendment of the constitution is a well deserved self-inflicting affliction.

  • 1
    2

    LM,

    I can resonate with your thoughts. You are too passionate but without venom like your pal, the viper in the grass.

    • 7
      0

      Dear Mr HP,
      .
      I dont think it is worth wasting being hateful to anyone. SM might have called you a crook, but you should be person to know about you more than anyone else.
      You guys are seniors of this beaten nation – you can add lot more of your factful info about the decades you passed , to the readers, educating them accordingly. Just stay counter attacking cant bring us anywhere right ?

      I really dont think SM is an idiot as you added somewhere. None of you senior citzens can be idiots. If you want to see it right about idiots please look at POHOTTUWA composition: And look at who voted for them… that is more than good examples.

      Besides,You are both senior citizens of another bananna republic WHICH has now become the number one HOLIDAY paradise for the Chinese. This was made possible by stupid politics played by Rajapakshe criminals. So how can we ever forgive them ?

      Their parents did not educate them to see it passionate, but only focusing on their own pockets. Mahinda Rajakashe s real face is unfortunately not known to you. Perhaps not known to his spouse who was also complicit to Wasim Thajudeen s murder and several untold crime activities.

      • 0
        2

        Dear Mr. LM,

        I am also a victim just like Wasim Thajudeen who is dead but I am alive and inside a torture chamber. I cried in pain. I Thought Snake_Man heard my cries. If I know how I am happy to share with you how I feel inside the torture chamber.

  • 4
    1

    Leelagemalli
    Reply to your 3 highlighted questions above.
    1. Brandix owners are close to Basil Rajapaksa.
    3. Nepotism is common in Sri Lankan politics. It can only be prevented through a Parliamentary Act.
    5. Yes. They bragged about permanently containing the COVID-19. So the second wave should be fake. What is remarkable is, unlike other nations in the world, Sri Lankas are not scared of Covid-19 as traditional herbal medicines, which are affordable and accessible, are a part and parcel of their daily lives. They are more worried about children starving in the lockdowns.

    • 3
      2

      Sri Lankans are more worried about their children starving in the lockdowns than getting infected with COVID-19.

  • 5
    0

    Dear Sinhala_Man
    Reply to your comment somewhere above.
    .
    Yes, after 20A is passed, the President will have the constitutional power to suppress dissenting opinions, human rights and all freedoms of people.
    He will also be able to arrest and remand environmentalists and human right activists indefinitely. The Defense Ministry is already using sophisticated technology to detect and track people.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Champa,
      .
      Wolf! Wolf!

      .
      I’m not so sure this time around.
      .
      I will make my reasoned comment at the bottom of the next page.

      .

      .

  • 3
    0

    Gotabhaya and Basil’s supporters are conveniently misinterpreting the public opposition to 19A introduced by Yahapalanaya.
    If 19A is considered bad, then its proposed replacement 20A is even worse.
    The self-centered Gotabhaya, Basil and Viyathmaga group never supported the patriotic people’s struggle against Yahapalanaya’s attempt to make the “unitary state” a “federal” one.
    Therefore, it is not surprising that they removed the word “unitary” from 20A to repeal the mandatory oath described in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, to facilitate dual citizens to retain the oath of allegiance to the foreign country!
    Watch out Sinhalese!
    This sure is a well planned international conspiracy to remote-control both the ruling party and the opposition parties in our Parliament.
    Please be united Venerable Maha Sangha and unite Sinhalese Buddhists to protect the country from this conspiracy.

  • 1
    0

    For the First time, the SinhaLE strange species, the Sinhala Intellectuals have used their head. They are trying a campaign to make people shut their lights Tomorrow night. Even if 10% do, it all 100% will come to know that there is some problems in 20A. A bright idea.

  • 4
    1

    There is another development brewing in the ongoing investigations into the Easter Sunday bombing. The former IGP Mr Jayasundera has revealed how he was side lined and how Sirisena flat out lied to the commission on numerous occasions. The lies are beginning to unravel the real conspiracy behind these bombings is beginning to be told. I suspect the Rajapukas think that if the truth came out they are insulated. For now the man with blood on his hands is SLPP office bearing Sirisena. But if he were to be arrested and given a good interrogation Sri Lanka police style what might comel out of his mouth could be quite interesting. We have a country of dunces who voted for a bunch of liars at best with very little education. Their education for the most part is stunted academically not because they suffered economic hard ship but because they are plain simpletons with low IQ. All they know how to do is to hatch some absurd plot and get the voting idiots to believe them with the help of like minded so called Buddhist clergy. We went from a country on the mend with far reaching reforms put in place with people like Champika Ranawaka, Dr Harsha De Silva, Dr Jayampathy Wickremaratne and many more charting the way forward to the Viyath Maga buffoons.

  • 1
    1

    There history goes the Opium was grown in India and sold in China by the Masters then….

  • 1
    1

    Does any readers know where the drugs in SL comes from? we had Covid issues in Karainagar recently by the illegal foreigners enetering as spice (turmaric) traders from neighbouring land?

    • 2
      1

      TV, drug and any other dealers are part and parcel of SLPP led by mlechch Rajapaksges, that is THE READON BEHIND the most known drug mafia leader Makandure Madhush who was gunned down yesterday. The kind of state killings are not new to Rajapakse DNA. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😐😐😐😐😐😐

      • 0
        0

        Thank you L. I am a big fan of President Duterte. The best think ever happen to Philippines. No other head of state could ever dream of such popularity in the world amongst the public.

        People can kill fellow men and women who is serving people and never have to be taken to task/then can go around and get voted into parliment several times/walks into Parliament claiming fighting for language causes?

        A drug selling scum ruins all our children’s lives should not even have the state expense spent on courts time??

        I wish in the final phase of the war GOSL sent the TNA to the front line would have solved the problem to do the talking?? How come the TNA did not volunteer to be in the front line saving Tamil peoples life?? This is very fishy is it not??

  • 2
    3

    So amazing how many human rights crusaders in the comment section to uphold human rights/democracy….a democracy that elected by 2/3 majority a GOSL……yet the “Ratha Pottu Mafia Killing Fields a Tamil crime against Tamil in Jaffna from 1970-1977-1981 by FP/ITAK/TULF/TNA/TN” went unreported to the UN to date?????

    Have not disputed and taken matters to SC/UN/Hague how such parties systematically killed fellow men/sold “children” to foreign Nations to be abused/brain washed/armed to destroy a Developing Nation to this day allowed into the Parliament/have the audacity to file a case against a legitimate governance……………who are you people in this comment section??????

    • 1
      1

      who are you people in this comment section?????? –
      —-
      mostly you – vomiting all over CT

  • 1
    1

    After leasing out the Hambantota Harbour to China for 99 years, the Chinese are now every where in that part of Sri Lanka.

    But they cant communicate in Sinhala so instead of them learning Sinhala Gota and Mahinda wants Hambantotues to learn Chinese!

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/business_247/Hambantota-Chamber-partners-with-HIPG-to-teach-Chinese-to-local-community/395-198293

    i also learnt that certain parts of Hambantota is barred for the locals.
    Let me correct I mean Sri Lankan locals not Chinese locals who also consider themselves locals…its their territory after all.

    • 1
      1

      Dear Rajesh

      (1)Who made all this possible?? we did it through our own weaknesses because we could not solve matters as part of our own developing journey in a civilised way??

      (2) We had a window of opportunity in 1981 to get onboard the tiger economies of Asia even after the 1977 blunder by the TULF that “may” have navigated us away from this geo political trap yet leave us in a strong position to take care of the Indian continent progressively without losing all our children..Tamil/Sinhalese etc.

      (3) Equally a blunder by the Indians they will live to regret…what they did in SL is unforgivable. India is a Nation I always looked upto as a Mother Country too as we are (were) all the same people….no more.

      • 3
        0

        you are blaming TULF for leasing out Hambantota?
        you blame TULF for everything…and not your APP
        I am surprised that you have not yet blamed TULF for the COVID-19 pandemic.
        But I am sure sooner or later you will

        • 0
          1

          Dear Rajesh

          “…and not your APP”

          what is that please?

  • 2
    1

    Dear Rajesh

    Another think to note is five security nations are all fine and they know how to take care of themselves and each other. We do not need to worry about them.

    It is the numpty people like us from the third world countries with third world mentality who get mixed up with what is in our interest and what is not because our own bigotry/duplicity is what others pray on to date…….when we celebrate killing a fellow man because they differ in their thoughts and still claim to be democratic concept base is where we all went fatally wrong with our own cockiness blinded us?

    Only problem with the ever so changing world is we only get a one window of opportunity to set our own National agendas as all else is so fluid and fast moving we are not strong enough to coop otherwise….not our fault and is by design too.

  • 1
    2

    Now we have to make the best of it as however comprmised things may be as you have correctly pointed out we meed to unit and as a Nation under the current GOSL to make the best of all on offer……..it is feasible….then again we need to get smarter fast together to deliver the Nation Building agenda.

    All other alternatives can only destroy us beyond comprehension is what one need to know very clearly….they are still on the table whether we like it or not but not to touch them du diligently to shape a Nationhood under “One for all and all for one” without any identity politics is fundamental to this notion of survival in a dignified way pooling all our brains to deliver what we all seek…selfrespect.

  • 3
    0

    “Giving the Hambantota Port to China on a 99-year lease, together with a 50-square km industrial zone, was one of the deadliest deeds of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration.”

    Was this an extreme conclusion by the author? The author didn’t support with an explanation.

    The port is a confirmed dud aka white elephant with no hope of ever operating in the green. It was published that the port could be a success only if vast Indian traffic uses it. Wouldn’t India build its own port if it needed another one? All the while the Colombo port remains capacious for expansion.

    Pre-project feasibility studies concluded the port wouldn’t work. MR proudly defied with China’s eager loan while other usual lenders like India refused.

    So Sirisena-Wickremasinghe’s 99-year lease deal with China and in return erasing about US$1 billion off the Chinese loan taken by MR sounds like it was a good deal fiscally. Also, at least equally important is that, the lease agreement doesn’t permit military use.

    Can China prove the pre-project feasibility studies wrong or is its intent, per the author’s alarming, really to twist SL’s arms in the future to expand the scope of the lease?

    • 2
      0

      Sugandh- Can China prove the pre-project feasibility studies wrong or is its intent, per the author’s alarming, really to twist SL’s arms in the future to expand the scope of the lease?
      —————–
      you are missing the Rajapakse factor. – greediness/stupidity/10% comission/US Passport

    • 0
      1

      The very idea of the Hambantota Port was a dead duck at the very start. A Dodo. It was a total ripoff by the Chinese who carefully planned to get a foot hold to dominate the Indian Ocean which was supported by the Bank Thief Ranil. After completion of the project they found out that there was a rock at the mouth of the port which blocked the vessels of deep draught entering the Port. The Chinese charged a fortune to blast it rubbing salt on old wounds. Chinese do not waste the time and opportunity to exploit the greediness of the Sinhala Race, the only Race in the world who would not think twice before they part with their mother and father for one quarter of a penny to fill their pocket.

  • 4
    0

    There is a common saying amongst the educated Chinese;
    ‘In western countries, the people are rich and the government is poor. In China, the government is rich and the people are poor.’

    The biggest victims of China’s dominance are the Chinese citizens themselves. The state’s tight hold over its citizens is so well managed, and for so long, even after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, and the long continuing defiance in Taiwan and Hong Kong for pro democratic inspiration.

    It’s common knowledge by now that China has targeted many a weak democracy with its BRI. SL fits perfectly in that picture once again under a self-serving leadership.

    Can this escalating admonition of the 20A put forth by the Rajapaksa despotism be a real turning point in our history where Lankans will stand together to strengthen this weak democracy and protect the people’s sovereignty?

    • 3
      0

      In western countries, the people are rich and the government is poor. In China, the government is rich and the people are poor.’
      ==================
      In Sri Lanka the Rajafukses decide who can be rich and who can be poor.
      A rich person today can be poor tomorrow if Rajafukses decide
      A poor person today can be rich tomorrow if Rajafukses decide
      They decide when to kill a drugs baron
      and when to arrest a hiding minister

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